By Richard Kent
NEW YORK — It was the most unlikely of days ending with one of the most unlikely of coincidences.
American Sloane Stephens defeated Anastasija Sevastova, a very game Latvian, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, behind some clutch net play and despite being down a break in the 3rd and deciding set.
And then came Venus
Yes, Venus Williams. All 37 years old of her.
She played in the night session, under a closed roof due to a storm brewing outside and beat No. 13 seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova by the identical score. And yes, Venus was down a break in the third set.
Both Americans had one key factor in their favor. The crowd and the overwhelming support for an American player in the home Slam.
Venus won largely due to a backhand which did not desert her throughout the long match of ebbs and flows. It was the first time since 2002 in which she has reached three Grand Slam semifinals.
With the victories, the two Americans will face each other on semi final day on Thursday. They await the possibility of three more Americans in the semis, as CoCo Vandeweghe and Madison Keys both play Wednesday for a shot at the semis.
Stephens holds a 1-0 career lead over Venus, beating her in the 2015 French Open.